In physics, a fluid is a liquid, gas, or other material that continuously deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external force.[1] They have zero shear modulus, or, in simpler terms, are substances which cannot resist any shear force applied to them.

Although the term fluid generally includes both the liquid and gas phases, its definition varies among branches of science. Definitions of solid vary as well, and depending on field, some substances can be both fluid and solid.[2] Viscoelastic fluids like Silly Putty appear to behave similar to a solid when a sudden force is applied.[3] Also substances with a very high viscosity such as pitch appear to behave like a solid (see pitch drop experiment). In particle physics, the concept is extended to include fluidic matters other than liquids or gases.[4] A fluid in medicine or biology refers any liquid constituent of the body (body fluid),[5][6] whereas "liquid" is not used in this sense. Sometimes liquids given for fluid replacement, either by drinking or by injection, are also called fluids[7] (e.g. "drink plenty of fluids"). In hydraulics, fluid is a term which refers to liquids with certain properties, and is broader than (hydraulic) oils.[8]